Saudi Arabia’s first music conference
Saudi promoter MDLBEAST announced the launch of the region’s “first music conference,” named XP and scheduled for Dec. 13-15 in Riyadh, realized in cooperation with the Saudi Music Commission.
Key topics will be presented in seminars, roundtables and workshops running under the pillars “talent”, “scene”, “policy” and “impact”. They will address questions surrounding the professionalisation in the region, where music is yet to be perceived as a viable career path, and what role technology may play in changing that.
Nightlife and tourism economy, copyrights and artist remuneration, the music sector’s representation among the country’s decision makers, data collection and analytics will all be topics that individual sessions are going to tackle, as are current buzzwords like wellbeing, equality, social equity, and sustainability.
Some session examples include “Amplifying Music Futures – What does this new generation of creatives need to thrive”, “Supercharging Music Tourism – Creating a sustainable new economy in KSA,” or “Empowering Women in Music”.
Confirmed speakers include Moe Hamzeh, Managing Director at Warner Music Middle East, Andreea Magdalina of shesaid.so, Karima Damir Director of A&R at Sony Music Entertainment, and many more.
Another one is Helen Sildna, founder of Tallinn Music Week and founding board member of Music Estonia, who sits on the Advisory Board of the first XP Music Conference. She’ll talk about how music can help put a city on the global map, drawing from her vast experience in creating events that not only helped draw tourists and music professionals to Estonia, but also export local talent to the world.
Tallin Music Week, the festival in Estonia’s capital, “became a music export effort when there was no such organisation yet, at a time when it sounded crazy to even think that Estonian music could do business, and artists could have careers on an international scale,” she wrote in a think piece provided to Pollstar.
Today, the Saudi capital of Riyadh finds itself in a similar situation, albeit for different reasons. But if Estonia, a little European country with 1.3 million inhabitants could gain international recognition for its music and culture, “for sure Saudi Arabia will,” Sildna wrote.
Ramadan Alharatani, CEO of MDLBEAST, commented: “The XP conference will help accelerate the growth of the music industry across the Middle East. We’re bringing together the most forward-thinking people from the world of music who will offer their insights and expertise to provoke conversation and incite positive action to grow our music industry.”
The full program of the first XP music conference can be viewed here. The conference is followed by MDLBEAST’s Soundstorm festival, 16-19, which assembles the who’s who in EDM, including Adam Beyer, Afrojack, Benny Benassi, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Sven Väth and more.